Thursday, 3 May 2007
Scotch Game: Mieses Variation
Last week I asked Chess Tales' readers which openings they would like to see covered. One of the requests was for the Mieses Variation in the Scotch Game:
1 e4 e5; 2 Nf3 Nc6; 3 d4 ed; 4 Nxd4 Nf6; 5 Nxc6 bc; 6 e5 Qe7; 7 Qe2 Nd5; 8 c4
This line originated in the 1880's, first used by Blackburne and later adopted by Mieses, but is still being played today and has even been chosen by Kasparov in World Championship encounters with Karpov.
Black gets a lead in development and active piece play but at the cost of a weakened queen side pawn structure. White's typical plan is therefore to attempt to neutralize Black's activity, develop and then look to exploit the structural advantage.
My suggestion for learning how to play this position is to look at some of the key games. (See the Chess Tales' improvement tip on how to study classic games)
Karpov has tried each of the two main Black responses against Kasparov:
8 ... Nb6 with moves like a5 to attack on the queen side to follow: Game 16, Lyon 1990
8 ... Ba6 pinning the c4 pawn and looking to maintain the knight on d5 as long as possible: game 14, Lyon 1990
Nunn gives detailed coverage of 8 ... Ba6 in his excellent book "Understanding Chess Move by Move" where he examines the game Kasparov - Sokolov, Erevan 1996. Nunn's analysis is where I would begin my studies.
"Starting Out in the Scotch" by Emms is regarded as the best introductory text on the opening.
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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.